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The State of the WVU Football Team

The State of the WVU Football Team

It all seems too good to be true.  Everything is falling into place for Neal Brown and staff.  Lowered expectations for the upcoming 2019-2020 season is to be expected for a new coach.  A relatively high turnover rate has made it difficult to consider this year’s team a Big 12 or national contender.

There have been numerous challenges throughout the offseason.  The quarterbacks situation has not worked out like originally planned.  Of Austin Kendall, Jack Allison and Trey Lowe, no one has distinguished themselves as the starter.  Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege may or may not be eligible for the upcoming season.

The Transfer Portal has claimed three probable starters and several other players that would have provided depth. Four star defensive lineman Aaron Lewis committed and then decommitted before eventually settling on Michigan.  With that said, there are many reasons to be optimistic about WVU football and its future.

Culture

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There has been a huge shift in the culture within the WVU football program.  Numerous players and recruits have cited the family atmosphere and how easy it is to be around the coaches.  The excitement and buy-in surrounding the program appears to be at an all-time high.  Grade: A

Recruiting

The loss of Aaron Lewis hurt, but fellow Garden State recruit Chris Mayo (OL) was huge.  Future quarterback and 4 star recruit Garrett Greene leads the class and has shown to be a strong recruiter for the Mountaineers.  Cornerback David Vincent-Okoli, Wide Receiver Devell Washington, Linebacker Lanell Carr and in-state lineman Zach Frazier will likely be solid starters with potential to be stars.  JUCO players S.L. McCall and Jacob Gamble will fill immediate needs.

It’s a good not great class.  247 Sports currently has WVU’s class rated as the 49th best in the nation and 9th best in the Big 12.  Brown will get a bit of pass considering this is his first season in Morgantown.  Next year’s class, which is loaded with in-state talent, will be far more telling.  Grade: C+

Short-term success

The expectations for the upcoming season are extremely low for fans and likely within the football program.  If WVU finishes with only 3 or 4 wins, it wouldn’t be too disappointing for anyone.  Grade:  D

Long-term success

The future is bright for the Mountaineers.  Like Neal Brown said, this team will be good, we just don’t know when yet.  With the tremendous culture being built, outstanding recruiting potential in the coming years and Brown’s proven record of leading a program to success, there is no question that the football program is going in the right direction.  Grade: B+

Brad Smith is a Senior Writer for Mountaineer Sports. Smith is among the most influential sports writers in the state of West Virginia and is a proud West Virginia University Graduate. Smith lives with his beautiful wife and children in Morgantown.

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